Every year, for the seven or so years I lived in rural San Diego County in California, a small “miracle” occurred in my yard.
Sometime toward the end of March, a tiny green sprig about half the size of the nail on my baby finger would appear on an old, dead-looking stump with shredded bark. As I continued to check the “dead” trunk daily, other sprouts would crop up. By the end of April, there were whole branches, some two feet long. Although the growth would occur, literally, before my very eyes, I could never actually see it happening. I could only “catch” the changes every morning. Eventually, I knew to expect that by August, the grapevine with its huge leaves (some with six-inch span!) would not only have reached the top of its eight-foot trellis but would have moved up and over to cover and shade my entire patio—a distance of about 20 feet. By end of summer, beautiful seedless white-centered purple table grapes—my Italian friends told me they were “Margaritas”—hung down through the slats of the patio roof, within my reach.
Now, I don’t want to be one of those people who pull too many gentle metaphors from nature—after all, nature can be harsh, with its sudden tornadoes, earthquakes, winter storms. But I’ve witnessed just enough “miracles” like my grapevine—including the time after my father passed on, when I watched a John Kennedy rosebush I thought had been killed by frost break into glorious white blooms—to believe that even when I can’t see progress with my own eyes, whether in my personal life or in the economic stalemate or in international relations, something—something good—is already, always, going on. Eventually, I’ve seen my trust in good, the good that has its source in God, divine Love itself, borne out in practical ways.